Chapter 50

Not Exactly an Ending

The last few days of school passed rather quietly, to the relief of everyone involved. The only thing that really happened was, the night that Umbridge tried to sneak away, she was attacked and chased out by Peeves. The poltergeist sent her packing with whacks from both a walking stick and a bag of chalk. Soon, Marik and Bakura joined him, pelting her with Dungbombs as she fled.

Soon, she was gone, and the whole of Hogwarts rejoiced…well almost all.

Harry was in a depressed state after the death of Sirius. Yugi had at first wanted to talk with him. However, Bakura, Ron and Hermione thought that this was a bad idea. Ron and Hermione knew Harry enough to know when he wanted his space, and respected that need. Bakura had dealt with losing a loved one before, and he could also tell that Harry was not ready to talk about it.

None of them knew of the prophecy that Dumbledore had told Harry the day of the attack…

Bakura's father left almost the same day he arrived, saying he had to deal with some things at the dig so he could come home.

Bakura did not believe him, not for a minute.

Kaiba was also rarely seen, but this was because he finally admitted that his dragon was talking with him. He was starting to talk with her, and found himself oddly attracted to her. In public he would present the same cold persona, but around Kisara he was a different person, a person that only Mokuba had seen before. However, he was not quite ready to admit that he had a connection with an ancient priest, and whenever the dragon would try to talk about it he would change the subject.

Despite this, Kisara was happy. At least he was acknowledging her now.

There was one other little incident…

Ron and Hermione had found themselves hanging out with Bakura, Yugi and Marik more and more, mainly because Harry refused to look at anyone longer then two seconds. Today, Ron was facing down Yugi in wizard chess…

And Yugi was losing, not by much, but losing. Marik was desperately taping the event for posterity…or he would have if he had a camera (the fact that he did not caused him to groan in sorrow). Bakura was staring at clouds (he hated chess), and Hermione was reading a book.

Bakura tore his eyes from the fluffy things in the sky, he had felt something moving beside him. He looked and saw a small green snake slithering beside him. He smiled, he liked snakes.

"What are you grinning at?" the snake hissed.

Bakura blinked, was he hearing things? Did the snake just talk? Marik apparently understood as well, because he looked over and hissed "He's looking at you, apparently."

"Hey! You're a Parselmouth?" Ron asked.


"You can talk to snakes?" Hermoine frowned.

"Yes, of course I can." Marik said. "I'm a Tomb Keeper, remember? We all can talk to snakes! My sister can, both my parents can…heck it would be harder to find someone in my family who couldn't talk to snakes!"

"Really?" Ron said, amazed that Marik did not find this weird.

"Remember that snakes are sacred to Egyptians? The Pharaoh and his servants could all do it. In fact…Yugi, Bakura, could you understand that?"

"Yes." Yugi said, slightly shocked at this information. He had never known he could talk to snakes…but then again he had never tried it before. He looked at the snake and hissed "Hi."

The snake stared at him "Hmmmm, interesting aura you got there, pal. You look a lot nicer than that Tom fellow."

"Wait…you know Voldemort?" Bakura said, surprised at the hissing sound coming out of his mouth.

The snake swung his head over to the boy "Yes and no. I heard about him from others. Rather unpleasant fellow, from what I hear. Many of our kind hate him."

"Why?" Yugi asked.

"Because he is nasty. And he gives use a bad name. Him and that sycophant lizard of hiss! Not all snakes automatically like Parselmouths, you know!"

"I see." Yugi said.

"It's too bad that other boy won't talk to us. I think his Gryffindor ideas poisoned him to us. Shame, that. But then again, Gryffindor was never known for his…acceptance."

"What do you know about Gryffindor?" Asked Marik.

"Let's just say…a basilisk was not the only secret in the Chamber of Secrets. Check it out for yourself, if you really are interested. It was nice talking to you, but I got to go. Places to go, things to do, mices to munch." The snake slithered away.

The three duelists stared after the snake, wondering what he knew. Hermione was staring at the three of them, her mind whirling. Was it coincidence that three of the duelists could speak to snakes, or did it have something to do with the Shadow Magic? Could all Shadow Mages talk to snakes? It was an interesting question, and she wanted to know the answer. However, since they were leaving Hogwarts tomorrow she felt that she could wait a bit for the answers.

Ron, however, did not really care. After all, Harry could talk to snakes as well…

The next day saw them on the train back to the station. Harry had gotten out of his funk long enough to talk with the others, but not about Sirius and not about the prophecy. After defending themselves from Malfoy and the Idiot Squad, they spent the train ride together, talking, dueling, and eating snacks from the trolley.

Finally, they reached the station, and Yugi felt a wave of weariness. For the other students it was only a short ride home from here.

The transfers had to catch a plane to Japan in a few hours.

As they were walking out Marik spotted the Dursleys, Harry's "family". It seemed they were being intimidated by some members of the Order of the Phoenix. Marik, sensing an opportunity for mischief, sauntered their direction. Yugi, Bakura and even Kaiba followed (Kaiba because he just had to see the looks on these moron's faces when they saw the guy who OWNED the gaming world strutting away in a Hogwarts uniform).

Vernon Dursley was shouting something about being intimidated, and Marik felt the urge to bellow "Hey Kaiba! What are the child protection laws in the whacked out country?"

"Hmm, I don't know. But I am sure it would involve lawsuits and prison cells." Kaiba grinned. How he loved baiting idiots.

Dursley stared at the people walking past him. He had gotten the hint. He also realized that drawing attention to himself might bring the Wrath of Kaiba down on his head. Though Kaiba did not specialize in drills every businessman including the anti-wizard slob knew the name, and the very presence of Kaiba was enough to shut Dursley up.

What was even funnier was the fact that they were ten feet away.

Such is the Power of Kaiba.

Joey was jumpy. It had been to long since he saw his buddy Yugi, and he had really missed the guy. Beside him Tea and Tristan looked almost as excited. Soloman Muto was also there, looking less jumpy but with a huge grin of anticipation. Ishizu and Odeon were also there, both looking as calm as clear lakes.

A horde of humans exited the plane from England, so much that the gang feared they would not see Yugi and the other two depart. However, a screeching black thing erupted into the air, and a pair of pale hands shot up and grabbed the annoyed mini dragon by the tail.

"Sorry! Malfunction!" A familiar voice shouted out. How Bakura had managed to smuggle Robot on the plane was a mystery, but he had done it somehow.

Joey grinned. Yugi was probably with Bakura…sure enough there he was! Soon Yugi found himself surrounded by his friends, and moments later Marik was also approached by his family, but at a much more sedate pace.

Bakura suddenly felt like he had been draped by Harry's invisibility cloak. Once again he was back to being the person looked at last. The fifth wheel. The hanger on. He sighed and started to back away. He remember his role well: fade into the background and only show up when his yami felt like going on a psychotic rampage…

Ishizu and Odeon had turned to welcome Yugi back, and Marik spied his friend sidling away. Quickly Marik slid over to Bakura and threw his arm over him.

"On the count of three let's ditch this lovey dovey fest, okay?" He said. "We got things to do, you and me! We got revolutionary pamphlets to write. We need to plan our next Hogwarts pranks…and eventually we might even study!"

"I agree, let's get out of here before they start to sing Kumbywhatever!" the spirit growled as he appeared over Bakura's shoulder.

Bakura grinned. He had been wrong. Things had changed. His yami was his friend. Marik was his friend.

He was not alone anymore.

And he was not the same either. He grinned and pulled out his last Dungbomb. "Tristan's head on three? Whoever gets it on the spike wins!"

Marik grinned and pulled another out. "One."

Yami Bakura smirked "Two."

Bakura leaned back and threw and did Marik "THREE!"

Both bombs landed beautifully. Tristan leaped into the air and howled. Marik and Yami Bakura laughed like loons, and Bakura grinned widely.

Ishizu turned and bellowed Marik's name. Marik grinned and ran, Bakura hot on his heels.

Joey stared at the two lunatics as they ran off "What is up with those two?"

Yugi smiled "They…are friends."

Laughing, Marik, Bakura and Yami Bakura exited the airport at a run, unaware of the black clouds that lay in both of their futures.

But for now, the laughter was enough.

A/N: End of Book one. Stay tuned for the sequel, which will follow Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince. Expect more Elder Breed. More Zorc. A secret that will change Marik's life, and a tragedy that will change Bakura's as well…

Coming soon: The Serpent's Blood.

Until next time…